You’ve done the keyword research, developed new SEO web copy, and even redesigned your site to “read” easier for the search engines – but you’re still not in the number one spot, or maybe not even making the first page.
What are your competitors doing that you’re not?
Obviously, there’s not one simple answer. The algorithms set up by the major search engines aren’t simple, and the rules change all the time as they try to improve the results. But it can pay to take a moment to visit the sites of your competitors to note any differences. Some things may be apparent at first glance, while others might not be so obvious.
Search engines feed on information, so providing them with more to read can make a difference. Sites that are updated more frequently tend to show up higher in search rankings, and one of the best ways to provide this information is through a blog. It’s easy to spot a blog on a competitor’s site, but you can also dig a little deeper and note how frequently they are posting. Is your website updated as often?
A backlink is a fancy way of referring to incoming links, which allow people to travel from another website to yours. This isn’t possible to spot on your competitor’s site, but there are many tools available to do a comparison, such as MajesticSEO.com. If you sign up for a free account, you can access the Backlink history tool where you can compare your backlinks to four other sites. Be sure to select “cumulative” under view mode to get a better view of where you stand today. Find that your backlinks are lacking? There are two main ways to solve the problem: link exchanges and guest posts.
In 2011, both Google and Bing added “social signals” to their algorithms, which means interactions on popular social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Simply having an account isn’t enough. You need to have an active presence, which means that what you post is being shared by many people and noticed by “authoritative” personalities. Take a look at how your competitor’s social networks stack up. Are they posting frequently and actively participating in conversations?
In future blogs, we’ll be sharing tips for getting these three factors up and running in your favor.